When an organization decides to study what social business / enterprise 2.0 can mean for them it is often out of curiousity since other companies in their industry are looking at it. Many traditional industries such as manufacturing do not necessarily see immediately what value social collaboration can bring to their organization. Those organizations that move from that curiousity to looking at social business in a rational way will quickly try to form a picture of what the ultimate goal is of social collaboration in their organization.
Answering what the organizational goals of social business are is a two sided question. On the one hand there are the concrete goals, such as reducing internal email communication or improving idea sharing across the organization. Then on the other hand there are the more high level goals such as increasing market share or increasing innovation.
Although it seems obvious, not every organization considers what the goals are and how to achieve those. One reason may be that the concrete goals come from the workers and the high level goals from top management. The challenge, but also the real strength, of social business is to allign the concrete goals with the vision and mission of the company.
A study by The Economist Intelligence Unit at the beginning of 2012 showed that those organizations that reaped the benefits of social business had a CEO and executives that communicated clear goals and drove engagement across the organization. That study also showed that you can measure the outcome of social collaboration if clear goals are set.
As I have stressed in previous articles, the ultimate goal of social collaboration is building a stronger community. This means building a culture of engagement, feeling of common interest and sense of trust.
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